These are possible topics in the series.  The intention is to build on oral histories collected from DC residents and people who have had an association with DC.  The topics are platforms that allow the exploration of broader historical themes and social issues familiar to Chinatowns throughout the United States. Thus, our expectation is that the film series adds to a general understanding of the Chinese American experience while documenting the specific history of DC Chinatown.

The topics are suggestions, and they are awaiting producers to take up and flesh out.  They, of course, need sponsors.

Anticipated Episodes    

  1. Gold Mountain Hopes — Why Chinese came to DC Part I: Patterns and routes from Canton. The Angel Island legacy.  Mobility within the U.S. boarders. Why DC?
  1. The Promise – About the enabling and protective roles of family associations and traditions seen through the “promise” of care even after death illustrated by Qing Ming rites and Range 99 at the Congressional Cemetery.
  1. Safe Harbors — Why Chinese came to DC Part II: Patterns and routes from North China and Taiwan. The legacy of Yung Wing, two Chinas, and Tiananmen, students and professionals. “The legal 105.”
  1. Community and Youth – Becoming American while holding onto Chinese Community through Church and Youth Clubs, and impact of public education.
  1. Pennies for China and Fighting for America — Choices and Commitments, traditionalism and nationalism to China, patriotism and service to America.
  1. April 1968 – Street violence following the Martin Luther King’s assassination, Impact on Chinatown. Between black and white.  Choosing to Stay and Defining identity.
  1. The Bean Sprout King – Thriving in Chinatown, building prosperity and family life, living the Dream. Teen dances, radio shows, football, cars and beauty queens.
  1. Movable Chinatowns – Pull Factors: Why Chinese leave DC Part I: Opportunities pull residents away. American educated, capabilities and skills no longer restrict Chinese to Chinatown. Once out, why return? The meaning of multiple Chinatowns and echoes Chinatown in untethered cultural showcases.
  1. Gentrification – Push Factors: Why Chinese leave DC Part II: Increasing Costs and Rich Real Estates push Chinese out.  Pan-Asian fusion, and the rise of the Young Professional. Pan-Asian-ism as “cultural gentrification.”
  1. Cultural Touchstone – Historical preservation of sites, maintaining programing venues.  Lion Dancing, 9-man Volley Ball and Talk Story, annual New Year parade.  Persistence of family and district associations, particularly of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, despite dwindling resident population in Chinatown.
  1. Creating a Cultural Destination – Relevancy. Preserving story sites as well as physical sites.  Chinatown as a mental construct and Museum.  What lies ahead for Chinatown in DC and other Chinatowns.


1.  金山的希望 – 为什么华人来到哥伦比亚特区(DC),第一部分:从广东来的方式和路线。天使岛遗产。在美国国内的流动。为什么来DC?

2.  承诺 – 关于宗亲会及传统习俗的扶持和保护作用,通过清明习俗和在特区的国会公墓99号华人墓葬区表现出来的求逝者保佑的传统。

3.  安全的港湾 – 为什么华人来到特区,第二部分:从中国北部和台湾来的方式和路线。容闳的影响,“两个”中国,天安门,学生和专业人士。 “合法的105。”

4.  社区及青年 – 成为美国人的同时通过教会和青年俱乐部紧紧抓住华人社区,和公共教育的影响。

5.  汇钱回中国和为美国而战 – 选择和承诺,对中国的传统主义和民族主义,对美国的爱国主义和服务效劳。

6.  19684 – 马丁·路德·金遇刺后的街头暴力,对中国城黑人和白人间的影响。选择留下来并界定身份。

7.  豆芽王 – 欣欣向荣的中国城,创造繁荣和家庭生活,实现梦想。青少年舞蹈,广播节目,足球,汽车和选美皇后。

8.  变动的中国城 – 吸引因素:为什么华人离开特区,第一部分:机会吸引居民离开。拥有美式教育,能力和技能的华人不再受限于中国城。一旦出来,为什么回归?多个中国城的意义及中国城如何映射出不受制约的文化橱窗。

9.  贵族 – 排斥因素:为什么华人离开特区,第二部分:成本提高和昂贵的房地产迫使华人离开。泛亚裔融合,和青年白领的崛起。泛亚主义的“文化贵族化。”

10. 文化的试金石 – 保护历史遗址,保持活动场所:舞狮,九人排球,“讲故事”活动,和一年一度的新年游行。宗亲会,特别是中国公所的延续,尽管中国城居民越来越少。

11. 树立文化目标 – 现实意义。保存实际地址与历史遗迹。中国城作为一种精神构建和博物馆。特区中国城和其他中国城的前景。